separation of church and state

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Texas County Agrees to Take Crosses Off Cop Cars

Gov. Greg Abbott had supported decals, but nonprofit's suit said they were 'unconstitutional'

(Newser) - A group known for fighting for the separation of church and state has won a victory against Brewster County, Texas, reaching a settlement that has county cops agreeing to remove decals with crosses on them from police cars, Reuters reports. In response to a suit filed this year by the... More »

Tennessee Lawmakers: We Want Bible as State Book

It's up to Gov. Haslam whether bill is 'unconstitutional,' 'sacrilegious,' or neither

(Newser) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has a bill coming his way that has the Bible nominated as the official state book, a move critics say would be both "unconstitutional and sacrilegious," per Nashville Public Radio . The state Senate approved the holy tome 19-8 Monday night, which could make Tennessee... More »

Judge's Get-Out- of-Jail-Free Card: Get Married

Not everyone loves Randall Rogers' peculiar form of Texas justice

(Newser) - Those who saw the story over the summer of the Texas judge who ordered a man to marry his girlfriend to avoid jail may have thought it was a weird one-off judgment—but it turns out that may be Randall Rogers' default consequence for unwed couples in his courtroom, KLTV... More »

Ten Commandments Removed From Oklahoma Capitol

It violated the state's constitution

(Newser) - A granite monument of the Ten Commandments that has sparked controversy since its installation on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds was being removed Monday and will be transported to a private conservative think tank for storage. In June, the Oklahoma Supreme Court decided that the display violates a state constitutional prohibition... More »

Satanic Statue Gets New Home in Detroit

It wasn't welcome outside Okla. Capitol

(Newser) - A good day for the devil's disciples? The statue that Satanists wanted to erect outside Oklahoma's Capitol building has found a more welcoming, but apparently temporary, home in Detroit. The 9-foot, 2,000-pound statue of winged, goat-headed idol Baphomet was unveiled just before midnight on Saturday at a... More »

School Slammed for Using 'Tea Party' History Books

Charter school is pushing religious propaganda, group says

(Newser) - Reigniting the church-and-state debate, a group in Washington is criticizing a charter school for teaching history with books embraced by the tea party movement, the Arizona Republic reports. Americans United for Separation of Church and State says the Heritage Academy in Mesa, Arizona, shouldn't be using two books by... More »

Supreme Court: Town Council Can Pray Away

Christian prayers don't violate First Amendment, court says in 5-4 ruling

(Newser) - It's OK for town council meetings to open with prayers, even if those prayers heavily reference Christianity, the Supreme Court declared today, in a 5-4 ruling split along familiar ideological lines. The court said that the content of the prayers is irrelevant, as long as officials make a good-faith... More »

Clergy Sue for Right to Perform Gay Weddings

Their argument focuses on religious freedom

(Newser) - North Carolina's gay marriage ban is being challenged—by a group of clergymen. The United Church of Christ, Lutheran, Baptist, and Unitarian Universalist ministers, plus two rabbis, filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming that the ban infringes upon their religious freedom, and that because of the separation of church and... More »

Judge: Take Down San Diego War Cross

But Supreme Court appeal may change things

(Newser) - A giant cross that's stood on a San Diego mountain for decades may not dot Mount Soledad for many more. A judge has ruled the 43-foot national war memorial cross violates the separation of church and state and needs to be removed within 90 days—once all appeals are... More »

Satanists Seek Monument at Oklahoma Statehouse

Ten Commandments project inspired them to apply

(Newser) - Republicans trying to bring church and state closer together in Oklahoma have opened the door to an unlikely group: Satanists. To recap, a Ten Commandments monument was installed at the Capitol Grounds last year with funding from the GOP-controlled legislature, despite outcry from legal experts who called it unconstitutional. The... More »

GOP Lawmakers to Supreme Court: Let Us Pray

Senators want traditional prayer before sessions kept in place

(Newser) - A group of mostly Republican lawmakers in DC has made a pitch to the Supreme Court for the right to keep saying a daily prayer before sessions of the House and Senate, reports Roll Call . They're worried that an upcoming case out of upstate New York will put the... More »

Judge: Yoga Not a Threat to Church-State Separation

He sides with San Diego County district, says yoga not always religious

(Newser) - San Diego County parents are just going to have to live with their kids being taught yoga in school , thanks to a Superior Court judge's ruling yesterday. The California parents were suing the Encinitas Union School District to stop the practice, arguing that yoga is inherently religious and thus... More »

Suit: Yoga in Schools Violates Church-State Rule

Parents in California district sue to stop program

(Newser) - Yes, this lawsuit is taking place in Southern California. In Encinitas, to be exact, where parents have sued to stop the school district from having kids perform yoga as part of gym class, reports NBC San Diego . The parents are worried that yoga has too many religious connotations from the... More »

Case Against 'Under God' Heads to Top Mass. Court

They will be 'making new law' in Pledge case, plaintiffs say

(Newser) - The Massachusetts Supreme Court has agreed to hear what could be a landmark case against the Pledge of Allegiance. A family of secular humanists are arguing that the phrase "under God" in the pledge violates the state's constitutional ban on religious discrimination, the Religion News Service explains. A... More »

Judge Lets Cheerleaders Keep Bible Banners

... at least until the lawsuit in June

(Newser) - The Kountze High School cheerleaders in Texas will be able to cheer on their teams with a little biblical inspiration at least through the end of this school year. A judge today said their Christian banners can stay until the matter is decided in a June lawsuit, reports the AP... More »

Texas Judge Might Sack Bible Verses at School Football Games

Is God a football fan?

(Newser) - A judge will decide today if cheerleaders at a Texas public high school can continue to hang banners featuring Bible verses at football games. District officials told the pep girls at Kountze High School to cut it out after they hung banners saying things like, "If God is for... More »

Atheists May Sue School Over Songs Mentioning God

They're songs, not prayers, says Clifton Park district

(Newser) - Stop singing about God or go to court, or so says an atheist organization threatening to sue a school district in Clifton Park, New York. The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants the Shenendehowa district to stop teaching two songs to elementary school kids that include lyrics referencing an almighty creator.... More »

Santorum Still Ripping JFK Speech

Absolute separation is 'not America,' it's France, he argues

(Newser) - Rick Santorum just cannot let this John F. Kennedy speech go: He again slammed JFK's remarks on the separation of church and state last night, although this time he didn't go so far as to say that they made him want to vomit . "Obviously, the language that... More »

How Santorum Became a Strict Catholic

The Republican candidate wasn't always so religious

(Newser) - Rick Santorum wasn't always a strict Catholic who spoke out against prenatal testing and wanted to "throw up" at the thought of separating Church and state. Neither was his wife, Karen, who dated an abortion doctor and moved in liberal circles in the 1980s. But when the pair... More »

Santorum: JFK Religion Speech Made Me Sick

Candidate defends role of religion in public life

(Newser) - Rick Santorum says reading John F. Kennedy's famous 1960 speech about the separation of church and state in America made him want to hurl. "To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up," the... More »

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